Design Spectator – the New Neutral “Poised Taupe” SW 6039 – The 2017 Sherwin-Williams Color of the Year

The 2017 Sherwin-Williams color of the year is Poised Taupe. This timeless neutral is modern, classic and a beautiful balance of warm and cool.

Source: Poised Taupe SW 6039 – The 2017 Sherwin-Williams Color of the Year
Introducing Poised Taupe (SW 6039), the Sherwin-Williams 2017 Color of the Year.

Neutrals are beginning a transition from the monochrome grays of the past five years to more complex hues characterized by taupes and browns. This timeless neutral fits the bill. Poised Taupe is modern, classic and a beautiful balance of warm and cool.

Grey has enjoyed its assent to “favorite” status over the last five years – but 2017 will mark the beginning of a warming trend. Influences such as natural or organic materials, weathered and worn finishes and global cultural preferences have suggested alternatives to a primarily grey existence. Taken from our 2017 colormix™ forecast – our commercial neutrals showcase the best of 2017, anchored by our Color of the Year, Poised Taupe SW 6039.
Our story of taupe is simple. Earthen brown combines with conservative grey and the result is a weathered, woodsy and complex neutral that celebrates the imperfections and authenticity of a well-lived life.
Warm Brown + Cool Grey = Taupe. Poised Taupe SW 6039

Are you looking for a fresh neutral that can provide a foundation for a more cozy, lived-in look? Explore the complementary palettes and videos for more inspiration.

Discover Poised Taupe >


Dorm Sweet Dorm

If you have kids going off to college for the first time, you’re in for an eye-opening experience. Compared to my “going off to college” era of the mid 1980’s, it is a time filled with endless options that have been specifically designed just to fit inside a space the size of a postage stamp…and look incredibly well put together. My son would not allow me to do anything other than buy his sheets, towels and toiletries…and to an interior designer mother, that was tough. I just knew he could have the snazziest dorm room at Oglethorpe University…but that was just not to be. He wanted the opposite…and was reluctant to let me in the door to see his living spaces. I understand now after having talked to other parents of young men…this is apparently the norm…but then 4 years later, my daughter was preparing for her freshman year of Furman University and it was a brand new world. We got to look at beautiful fabrics for bedding, color and patterned fabrics that coordinated the head boards with the bedding and made to fit those extra long “unattractive” dorm beds no less, and her roommate was savvy at finding just the right sources for just what they needed. My biggest takeaway after looking at the websites for all the “necessities” was kicking myself for not thinking of this great design concept which is BIG business. The options are endless…we started at TJ Maxx, moved on to Target and then to the ultimate, Dorm Decor and Dorm Suite Dorm both having showrooms located in Birmingham, Alabama where you can see touch and feel the fabrics and check out the quality of the workmanship. We LOVED their options and found everything a girl needs and wants in her “dorm away from home”.

Which leads me to today’s post…we’ve been preparing for Mary’s sophomore year at the same university and I can’t help but think about all the business opportunities out there. New business idea for someone…figure out the best way(s) to help students create their own “dorm sweet dorm” and allow families to feel a little less sad about leaving the kiddos at the various universities across the US.

For more, read “Pimped Out Dorm Room Triggers Competition at Ole Miss”








The FU 2016 “dorm design” work begins weeks in advance, choosing rugs for a soft floor to sit on as Mary studies, to find the compactly designed best solutions for any student who has a need to keeping an ordering work and sleep space…and lots of room for pictures of mom, (just kidding). Thanks to Mary’s brother and his employer, Nance Industries we found some beautiful fabricated rugs and carpet that would soften the concrete floors of Mary’s dorm room. We couldn’t have possibly anticipated how necessary the carpet and rugs would be until we first entered the room and realized the floors were down to the rough concrete floors because it was one of the few dorm buildings not to get the scheduled renovations. Before you get the wrong idea about Furman, they communicated with us well ahead of time and have offered concessions to all the students in the un-renovated spaces. Check out these gorgeous rugs and more cool things fabricated by NANCE Industries at these websites: or


Furman University Housing did try to prepare us in advance by communicating that this particular building was not one of those with completed renovations. As you can see, there are rough concrete floors and Furman provided sisal rugs to help aesthetics a little bit. Nonetheless, we were thankful we took soft carpet and rugs since these tightly woven sea grass rugs from Furman are a little abrasive under bare feet.



KITCHEN DESIGN TRENDS: I am loving the new appliances innovative finishes…and drooling over the La Cornue hues. Review this article on Kitchen Design Trends 2016: What’s the New Stainless Steel? | Apartment Therapy | What are your thoughts?

DESIGN SPECTATOR for Floor Covering Weekly “Living With Color” by Emily Morrow Finkell


What is it about color that’s so important? Everything! In a world of color, we are all impacted in ways we sometimes can’t possibly imagine. It’s no secret that gray has been a major player in the fashion and interiors world, and that is not changing anytime soon. I have seen however a shift towards more and more vivid colors, practicallly technicolor colors at international furniture and design shows, New York Fashion Week, and even at the retail points of purchase. Architectural Digest’s annual “Living With Color” August issue quotes “The pureset and most thoughtful minds are those which love color the most” by John Ruskin in The Stones of Venice. From the fashion-forward color discussions to the more practical online consumer surveys, color matters and can impact the overall resale value of our homes.

“According to the analysis of over 50,000 sold homes from around the country, the online real estate company found that homes with kitchens painted in warm yellow hues yielded the highest sale premium. They went for $1,360 above expected values.The belief is that potential buyers look at the blank white walls and are concerned about being able to keep it clean.”

white kitchenfeaturePics

“Not a fan of yellow? No worries. Top-performing listings also had wall colors painted in other earthy tones, like sage green or dove gray.To get the biggest bang for your buck, stick with colors that have mass appeal so you attract as many potential buyers to your listing as possible,” explained Svenja Gudell, Zillow chief economist, in a statement. “Warm neutrals like yellow or light gray are stylish and clean, signaling that the home is well cared for, or that previous owners had an eye for design that may translate to other areas within the house.”

In terms of colors you may want to avoid, the report found that homes with white kitchens actually sold for $1,400 less than expected. While the stark hue gives off a crisp look, it apparently also deters buyers, many of whom think they won’t be able to keep the space clean.

While this sounds overly simple, it’s incredibly important to all of us, especially those of us in the floor covering and design industry. Consider this, we’ve seen a huge portion of homes shift from carpet to hard surface, and the carpet that is selling best oftentimes is a neutral tufted pattern, tonal or flecked product which definitely offers soil and dirt-hiding characteristics to the consumer.

Overall the neutral color palette is shifting annually in very subtle shades. The most essential neutrals are gray, taupe, sand, white, off white and camel. One great way to identify the catalyst behind the neutral color foundation is to examine the “commitment decisions” in homes, for example hard surface flooring, natural stone or solid surface countertops as well as case good furnishings, all of which have a life span of ten to twelve years before replacement. Neutral colors have always been cyclical and the pace of their cycle was slightly thrown off by the recession and rebounding market. The best selling neutrals of the pre-recession were golden neutrals, matching and coordinating with the vast hard surface materials like travertines and granites. Today we see a lighter cleaner palette strongly influenced more by calacatta marble and cerused or flaxen white oak hardwoods.


Thanks to color-loving fashion icons like Tory Burch who stated “I am drawn to the way colors interact with and complement one another” in her book Tory Burch In Color. She has famously featured “TORY ORANGE” in her packaging and stylishly demonstrates how beautifully colorful interiors can be tasteful (see The Blue Room below).


We will continue to see more and more vivid colors as well as fleshy-pink neutrals as a warm counterpart to the cool neutrals that have blanketed the market place. Color Marketing Group releases a monthly color alert, many of which are already applied in accessories for the home like rugs, pillows and draperies. What’s important to note about the neutral and color-colors of the current near future is how it makes a consumer feel. CMG’s ZEN is, “tranquil, relaxing, mindful and calm…relaxed and unworried, that is the state of the color of “Zen. This calming hue is a comforting neutral, with little chroma, and just a bit of black. Its simple nature allows effortless coordination with everything from soft pink to fresh green, and practically anything else.” Who doesn’t want a little more “comfort” in their lives?



The luxury ranges at La Cornue flaunt their color flair. For colorful options that are major investment items, check out these over the top La Cornue ranges at KBIS2016 in colors from light aqua to a saturated bubblegum pink.



2016 April CMG ZEN
“Watch for it to appear modern in high gloss finishes, elegant and refined in matte, and ethereal when enhanced with metallic and special effects. Whether a fashion accessory color or the color of the garment itself, a car color or enhancing a set of luggage, “Zen” moves quietly, with purpose, and in kindness with other colors.”


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CMG 2015 November EQUESTRIAN

Classically inspired, “Equestrian” embodies attributes desired by sporting enthusiasts and those that simply enjoy watching the game.
A golden brown, reminiscent of tooled leather, it is at once rugged and luxurious, familiar and aspirational. Beyond the world of equine sports, the color will grace everything from fashion to accessories. It adds a touch of “Country Life,” even in the city, suggesting a moment of peace and quiet that is always in touch with nature. Regal, elegant, earthy and reliable, “Equestrian” is a color that crosses borders, genders and bank accounts. It is a color of steadiness in 2015.
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